| Caernarfon (h) |
Penrhyn-coch (h) |
Llanidloes (a) |
Cefn Druids (a) |
Mold Alex (h) |
Conwy Borough (h) |
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 19 Hydref Match Sponsor: Aspects of Snowdonia CPD Porthmadog ... 3 Conwy Borough ... 4 Carl Owen ‘30, ‘60 Teddy Whelan ‘19 Neil Thomas ‘69 Aden Shannon ‘81, ‘84 Matty Holt ‘88Despair turned to elation for Conwy Borough as they overturned a 3-1 deficit with just nine minutes left and transformed it into a 4-3 victory with the winner coming in the 88th minute. The opposite was the experience for Porthmadog as they lost control of a game which they appeared to have all but won and that resulting from some of the best football seen at the Traeth for some considerable time. For the neutral this must have been a most entertaining afternoon quality passing moves, fine goals, goal line clearances, great saves and an extraordinary finish. But for all the quality of their goals and their attacking performance, Porthmadog will feel hugely disappointed to be beaten by three goals from corners and the other from a cross from wide out to the back post.
Port were first to threaten when Rhys Roberts met a Danny Bell free kick heading across the face of goal and wide. Conwy responded with a Bull effort which also went across goal. With 13 minutes gone Moss spurned a good opportuinty screwing his header wide from Bull’s freekick. Play was end to end at this stage with Eilir Edwards for Port cutting inside fom the left fired narrowly over the bar. Conwy, however, went ahead after 19 minutes when Whelan rose to meet a right wing corner and directed his header just inside Hulse’s far post. The goal lifted the visitors and they enjoyed a good passage of play. Wignall was a threat down the right forcing Phil Williams into a good clearance at his near post. Wignall again threatened on the counter attack but his lob over the advancing Hulse went wide of the post. Hulse was soon in action keeping out Jukes with a good save low at his near post. But with half an hour gone Boro keeper could only touch Danny Bell’s cross into the path of Carl Owen who hit the cleanest of volleys past the despairing Mackin to level the scores. It was now Port’s turn to be lifted by a goal and Rhys Roberts came close with a header and Carl Owen put through Neil Thomas whose shot was narrowly wide of the mark. At the other end Jamie Hulse dealt well with Myler’s snapshot from 12 yards. Half time all square at 1-1.
At the start of the second period Jamie Hulse was out well to deny Bull and again when Wignall cut inside from the left. But then it was Port very much in charge and when Rhys Roberts played a good ball into the box Neil Thomas drew a good save from Mackin, diving to his right to keep out the header. Thomas was soon in the action again at the back post meeting a Bell cross and looped his header over the bar. Port pushed forward with some outstanding link up play and it was no surprise when they went ahead. Rob Evans, breaking through the centre of midfield, opened up the Conwy defence and Carl Owen burst through on to the pass and one on one with keeper coolly finished from 15 yards. Another excellent build up saw Neil Thomas, who was now playing a key role and in all the action, being denied at the near post. Eilir Edwards forced a corner on the left and soon after fired goalwards but straight at keeper Mackin. With 69 minutes gone Port deservedly extended their lead and what a super goal it was. The three man move started with Leon Newell breaking to the byline on the left finding Carl Owen in the box and the forward’s superb lay off for Neil Thomas was completed with a firm strike from 10 yards. Suddenly a situation where Port seemed the more likely to extend their lead was suddenly transformed. Jamie Hulse was once again in the thick of the action and made three or four good saves and Phil Williams cleared off the line. In the 78th minute manager Chris Herbert made a double substitution and the introduction of one time Port player Aden Shannon turned the game on its head. Four minutes later he was meeting Alan Bull’s cross at the back post and headed just inside the post. Even then at 3-2 a Conwy win seemed a tall order but in the 84th minute Port’svulnerability at set pieces came back to haunt them. It was Aden Shannon again this time getting on the end of a left wing corner and finding the net for 3-3. The visitors had the wind in their sails now and continued to cause panic. With two minutes left another Bull corner and the winner was turned in from close range by full back Matty Holt. At referee Scott Langley’s final whistle the Port players, management and supporters were left to wonder how such a turn of events was possible.
It would be easy for supporters to get involved in the blame game after such a disappointing end and the loss of three points which at one time looked there for the taking. But this is basically a very young team and a work in progress. Anyone who was there today cannot fail to be hugely impressed by the quality of some of the football served up. What cannot have escaped notice either is the form of Carl Owen, now with games under his belt, showing the kind of play which has made him such a favourite at the Traeth.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Danny Bell, Josh Banks, Ceri James (Paul Lewis 86), Phil Williams, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Neil Thomas, Carl Owen, Leon Newell (Sion Kyle 70), Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Gareth Jones Evans, Craig Papirnyk, Gareth Barker (gk).
CONWY: Louis mackin, Matty Holt, Phil Doran, Gareth Sudlow, Teddy Whelan, Darren Moss (Elis Healing 78), Sean Myler, Barry Hogan (Aden Shannon 78), Mike Jukes, Alan Bull, Ryan Wignall. Unused subs: Jamie Price, John Keegan, Chris Herbert. Yellow: Ryan Wignall.
Referee: Scott Langley Attendance: 147.
Welsh Cup Round 1 -Saturday, 12 October CPD Porthmadog ... 1 Mold Alexandra ... 0 Rhys Roberts 18Port secured their place in the Second Round of the Welsh Cup with a less than convincing performance. A set piece goal by Rhys Roberts after 18 minutes was enough to give them the victory against a Mold Alex team who made life difficult for their opponents with their quick tackling and willingness to take the game to their opponents. It was however a far too tetchy affair to produce much in the way of attractive football and twice referee Liam Gray had to wave a red card.
As early as the 11th minutes Mr Gray was showing his first yellow card to Haydn Cooper of Mold for a foul and Neil Thomas for responding. This seemed to set the tone for the remainder of a rather irritable game.The first chance on goal fell to Carl Owen for Port following a break down the right, but his header looped over the bar. The early stages consisted of Port building along both flanks and the visitors closing down quickly allowing little time on the ball. After 18 minutes Port won a corner on the left and Danny Bell lifted his cross to the back post where Rhys Roberts rose well and met the ball with a clean header into the far corner of the net. Port tried to press home the advantage and Danny Bell cutting across field lifted his shot from 18 yards over the bar. A good run by Robert Evans followed but his well struck shot was wide of the target. The visitors, who defended in numbers, were quick on the counter attack and from one of these breaks Paul Lindfield fired a shot from the edge of the box forcing Jamie Hulse into a good diving save. Alex then enjoyed a good spell with Cooper going up to meet a right wing cross and winning a corner and two more corners followed in quick succession. The half drew to a close with Carl Owen firing over the bar for Port and a long range effort by Mold’s Buckley also wide of the mark. In the latter stages of the opening half Gruff Williams had to leave the field injured to be replaced by Ceri James. At the interval Port remained 1-0 ahead.
The visitors started the second half strongly with Stafford on the break getting in behind the Port defence but shot straight at Jamie Hulse in the Port goal. A minute later and Hulse was in the thick of the action again pulling off a fine stop with an oustretched leg to deny Lindfield. With a little more steadiness in front of goal Alex could well have levelled the match at this stage. They won a freekick in a dangerous position but Rushton-Woods lifted his shot over the bar. This was followed by a Stafford volley wide of the post. After the hour mark Port enjoyed a good deal of possession without seriously threatening the Mold goal. A 30 yard Danny Bell free kick was not far over John Burns’ cross bar as Port strived for a goal to make the game safe. A good move down the right involving Danny Bell and Eilir Edwards resulted in the latter’s deep cross being forced narrowly wide of the back post by Neil Thomas. The tetchy game took a turn for the worse when Mr Gray showed a member of the Mold coaching staff a red card and he was ordered into the stand. But Mold continued to look for an equaliser and Buckley broke dangerously into the box but fired his shot across the face of goal. At the other end Craig Papirnyk, moments after coming on as a sub, found Eilir Edwards with a pinpoint pass and the winger drew a good save from Burns. But Alex were not giving up and it needed a great Rhys Roberts tackle to halt Buckley in the Port box. Into injury time and Josh Banks fired a powerful shot across the the goal and there was still time for Mr Gray to dismiss Mold defender McElmey for more dissent.
Though this was a below par performance the main point of the exercise was always to secure a place in the next round and true to cup football they had to scrap and be resilient to achieve this end.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Gruff Williams (Ceri James 31), Josh Banks, Neil Thomas (Craig Papirnyk 82), Phil Williams, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Danny Bell, Carl Owen, Leon Newell (Paul Lewis 74), Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Gareth Jones Evans, Gaareth Barker (gk).
MOLD ALEX: John Burns, Dave McElmey, Tony Kiernan (Callum Evans 59), Jamie Smith, Jamie Evans, Joe Tierney, James Rushton-Woods, Haydn Cooper, Aaron Stafford (Gino King 76), Lewis Buckley, Paul Lindfield (Lewis Donoghue 76). Sub not used: Kyle Harrison. Red: Dave McElney. Yellow: Haydn Cooper 11, Tony Kiernan 44, Aaron Stafford 54.
Referee: Liam Gray (Rhyl). Attendance: 120.
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 5 October. Cefn Druids ...1 CPD Porthmadog ...0 Steve Blenkinsop ‘35A breakaway goal 10 minutes before half time gave the league leaders all three points. This was a result which Huw Griffiths and his team will surely consider was more perhaps than they deserved on the balance of play over the 90 minutes. It was a game where Port enjoyed much of the possession and that for quite lengthy periods, but clear chances were few and far between as the home side defended well and took one of the few chances created in a game where the result remained in doubt to the end.
Port were first on the attack and Carl Owen met a Leon Newell cross but his header from 12 yards went over the bar. A minute later Neil Thomas fired powerfully from 20 yards but the shot was deflected into the arms of keeper McGhee. The home side responded with Jamie Haynes cutting in from the left and firing across the goal and wide. Hulse then went down well to push away Steve Blenkinsop’s 25 yard free kick. Port spread the ball well using both flanks with Josh Banks and Eilir Edwards combining well down the left testing the home defence. Carl Owen, who was finding space in the box, met another Leon Newell cross, only to see it fly outside the post. Then after a period of stalemate where neither side was able to get the upper hand Rob Evans, for Port, broke well down the right twisting inside and outside of three defenders before unleashing a powerful angled shot which went narrowly over the bar. With a half hour gone Blenkinsop rose well with Rhys Roberts in the box to meet a Haynes cross but the ball was deflected for a corner. Then with 10 minutes to go to half-time a Druids breakaway involving Mark Pritchard and Blenkinsop finally broke the deadlock. Pritchard was intially half stopped 10 yards inside the Port half but the ball broke behind the defensive line and gave Blenkinsop the opportunity to run on to the edge of the box and beat the advancing Jamie Hulse with a low shot. Port responded immediately with an attack down the right and Carl Owen once again finding room inside the box met Rob Evans cross with the cleanest of headers and was very unfortunate to see it strike the bar and bounce to safety. Port continued to push forward and McGhee could not hold a Neil Thomas rasper from 25 yards but there was no one to apply a finishing touch. An even first half came to an end with the Druids fortunate to go in 1-0 ahead.
A Druids counter attack two minutes into the second half could have seen them double their advantage. With Hulse leaving his line, panic in the Port rearguard was only relieved by a clearance after Blenkinsop’s 14 yard angled shot hit the foot of the post. The pattern of replay remained much the same with Port building up well controlling possession but lacking a final ball into the box against a home side who defended well and defended in numbers. The Druids responded with quick breaks rather than the route one tactics usually associated with them. Danny Bell who switched to right back, after Gruff Williams limped off, combined well with Rob Evans to threaten down the Druids left side and Ceri James, who was the replacement, prompted well in midfield to keep pressure on the home defence. Eilir Edwards on a clever run cutting in from the left saw his shot across the face of goal drift wide. Mike Pritchard cut inside, after a quick Druids counter break, but shot straight at keeper Hulse and when Mike Harris lifted a deep cross to the back post Hurdman found himself outnumbered and pulled his shot wide. For Port Rob Evans was posing real problems for the Druids defence and when he burst past a defender, McGhee had to go down well at his near post to save. Still the home side defended strongly and could even have settled the game after 85 minutes when a great shot on the turn from Matty Owen thudded against the crossbar. But as it was the points were not safe until the final whistle was blown. At the last gasp Paul Lewis went on a strong run down the left and Carl Owen met his cross only to see McGee pull off a good save flinging himself to his right.
The defence which has only conceded 3 goals all season did it for the Druids. The goal for Port just wouldn’t come and it was a relieved Cefn Druids who heard the final whistle blow. The sight of Adam Hesp strolling across the park from the right to take throw ins deep in his own half on the left in the closing stages just about said it all –a good Port performance but unfortunately no points.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Gruff John Williams (Ceri James 48), Josh Banks (Paul Lewis 74), Neil Thomas, Phil Williams, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Danny Bell, Carl Owen, Leon Newell (Craig Papirnyk 86), Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Gareth Parry, Gareth Barker (gk).
CEFN DRUIDS: Adam McGee, Mark Harris, Matty Hughes, Adam Hesp, Matty Owen, Steve Blenkinsop (Nick Hughes 90), Mike Pritchard, Jamie Haynes, Lewis Jones, John Leonard (Matty Hurdman), Gavin Cadwallader. Unused subs: Andy Pasco, Ross Ankers, Jack Edwards.
Referee: Scott Langley (Meliden) Attendance: 164.
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 28 September Llanidloes Town ... 2 CPD Porthmadog ... 2 Matthew Savage 8 Leon Newell 41 Will Thomas 54 Eilir Edwards 82Porthmadog twice came from behind and shared the points for the first time this season. They were making their first visit to Victoria Park since 1992, when that League of Wales fixture between the two clubs also ended in a draw. Port, without Carl Owen who was out with a back injury, will probably feel disappointed at not being able to build on the midweek victory but pleased that the persistence shown was enough to pick up a point on the road and that thanks to an ‘82 Eilir Edwards spectacular, directly from a free kick.
On a hard lively pitch where getting the ball down and passing it around was far from easy, the home side got off to an ideal start. After only eight minutes Port found themselves chasing the game once more. A Rhys Jones corner on the right was only partially cleared as far as Matthew Savage on the edge of the Port box. The winger turned well and whipped in a strong shot. A deflection wrong footed keeper Jamie Hulse and, though he got a despairing hand to it, the home side were ahead. This suited the Llanidloes game plan of defending in depth and using long balls to release the runners Jamie Breese and Will Thomas. Soon after the goal Breese broke behind Port’s high defensive line and should have done better with an effort from 18 yards. Jack Bermingham tested Hulse at his near post with an angled shot before Port began to have an attacking impact on the game. Eilir Edwards picked up a loose pass 20 yards out but lifted his shot over the bar. Then two unlikely Port efforts almost caused embarrasment to the home defence. First a speculative 30 yard effort from Josh Banks rattled the crossbar and a high Neil Thomas lob also struck the bar with keeper Aaron Warwick back pedalling desperately. The best move of the opening half came close to setting up a Port equaliser with Rob Evans getting behind the defence on the right and crossing low to the near post where Eilir Edwards had his goal bound flick blocked. Neil Thomas then threatened the home goal with a low angled shot from 20 yards which drifted narrowly wide of the post. At this period though defending stubbornly Will Thomas provided a rare attack down the left and a powerful angled shot was gathered by Jamie Hulse at his near post. But with half time approaching Port deservedly drew level when Rhys roberts at the back post headed Eilir Edwards’ corner into the goalmouth where Leon Newell provided the final touch for his sixth goal in the last seven games. The linesman was needed to confirm that the ball had indeed crossed the line to make the scores level 1-1 at the interval.
Two minutes into the second half and Port could have gone into the lead when Leon Newell down the right crossed low into the box, but Eilir Edwards’ shot went straight at keeper Warwick. But with nine minutes of the second half gone Llanidloes recreated their ideal scenario by regaining the lead. Following a Josh Evans free kick a defensive header was met by a super volley from Will Thomas which whistled into the corner of the net from 20 yards. For the next ‘30 of the game the home side hardly got out of their own half but to their credit they got bodies behind the ball and, marshalled by Mark Probert, defended tenaciously packing their box at any threat and keeping Port scoring opportunities to a minimum. On the hour the dangerous Leon Newell broke into the box but fired straight at Warwick. Port continued to search for the equaliser and an excellent build up opened up the home defence with a Ceri James pass into the box setting up Eilir Edwards for a clear shot on goal. The winger went for placement rather than power and at full stretch Warwick kept out the low 15 yard shot. Port were pushing forward in search of the equaliser and the home side kept their goal intact with a mixture of good blocks and desperate clearances. Gruff Williams broke into the box on the right but his well struck shot was deflected for a corner. With 8 minutes left Llanidloes conceded a free kick on the right of the box 20 yards out. Eilir Edwards sent a perfect left foot strike up over the wall and curling into the corner of the net just inside the far post. The leveller prompted the home side into their first attack since their second half goal. Will Thomas broke down the right crossing deep for Rhys Jones to volley over the bar. A misplaced clearance by Hulse followed and almost gave the home side an 88th minute winner. It landed at the feet of prolific scorer Will Thomas who broke goalwards but to Port’s relief his shot struck the crossbar when a goal seemed certain. There was still time for Rob Evans to cut inside from the left and test Warwick one more time but a draw was probably a fair result.
Had Port gone ahead in either half it would have been a very different game. But the opportunist goals were well taken and when you have been behind for over half an hour in the first period and a similar length of time in the second half you have to feel relieved to travel home with a share of the spoils.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Dan Pyrs, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Dan Bell (Paul Lewis 82), Neil Thomas, Leon Newell, Eilir Edwards. Subs unused: Phil Williams, Gareth Parry, Craig Papirnyk, Gareth barker (gk).
LLANIDLOES: Aaron Warwick, Josh Evans, Rhys Jones, Dan Lewis, Mark Probert, Greg Brown, Tom Evans, Jack Bermingham, Jamie Breese (Craig Stephens 57), Will Thomas, Matthew Savage. Subs unused: Nicky Jones, Andy Evans. Yellow: Matthew Savage 89.
Referee: Martin Williams (Wrexham)
Huws Gray Alliance -Tuesday, 24 September CPD Porthmadog ... 3 Penrhyn-coch ... 1 Leon Newell'5 Emlyn Lewis '58 Rob Evans '10 Carl Owen '53A clear cut win gave the right riposte to the consecutive defeats against strong opposition. Port got off to a flying start and were two goals up in the opening 10 minutes of the game and had they taken the excellent chances created they would have been four or five up in 20 minutes! Though the game became rather scrappy in its middle period there was plenty of excellent home approach play on display to please the crowd, and provide a performnce to lift Port to 6th place in the table just behind Flint on goal difference.
Man of the match Leon Newell was in the thick of the action from the start and in only the first minute he tested the visitors keeper, Llew Hughes, with an angled shot which could only be parried away. But the forward could not be kept out for long and with only 5 mins on the clock Newell surged from midfield into the penalty area and from 15 yds, going for placement rather than power, beat the keeper with a fine low shot just inside his left hand post. His fifth goal of the season. It took only five more minutes for Port to double their lead and this time it was speedy wideman Eilir Edwards who cut in from the left and though his shot was blocked, Rob Evans was on hand to complete the job with a close range finish. A minute later Rob Evans broke into the box on the right to carve out a good opportunity for striker Carl Owen but the forward struck his shot wide. Newell just could not be kept out of the action and a superb lob put Carl Owen in again for a goal scoring opportunity. The visitors defence was totally stretched at this stage and it was a miracle that they did not concede more goals. The visitors only response came from set pieces and, from a Mark Gornall free kick to the back post debutant keeper Jamie Hulse needed a second bite to keep the header out. The game in the latter stages of the first half became tetchy with referee Gareth Wyn Jones having to award a series of freekicks and brandish the yellow card as Penrhyncoch battled to break up Port’s domination. But the home side still managed further efforts on goal a Carl Owen effort from 25 yards and Llew Hughes did well to touch a Rhys Roberts header over the bar from a Gruff Williams free kick. In the final minutes of the opening half Penrhyn mounted their only real attacks of the half and Carl Owen needed a good defensive header to keep them out and under pressure Port were forced to scramble the ball away. Penrhyncoch did find the net in the closing stages of the half but it was ruled offside. 2-0 at half time.
It took Port only eight second half minutes before they stretched their lead to three goals. Inevitably perhaps it was Leon Newell winning the ball on the edge of the box and when keeper Hughes could only push the shot away, Carl Owen was on hand to score his fourth in as many games. Port attacked again and Rob Evans and Leon Newell combined to put Carl Owen through but Llew Huhes leapt to his left to keep out the attempted lob. Gradually however the visitors got themselves into the game. Unsurprisingly it was a set piece after 58 minutes that brought Penrhyncoch their goal. a corner from the left was whipped in with power by Jonathan Evans and Emlyn Lewis’ glancing header found the net for 3-1. A minute later and the visitors should have further cut the deficit but Evans failed to capitalise on a misplaced pass and despite finding himself in acres of space he sliced his shot well wide. Port responded with a Carl Owen header meeting Rob Evans’ cross which Hughes pushed away. A good Aneurin Thomas block prevented another Leon Newell shot on target. But the visitors didn’t lie down and had their most constructive period of the game. Hulse under pressure gathered a Mark Gornall corner and a Jonathan Evans cross from the right took a deflection on to the Port crossbar before being scrambled away. But in the latter stages the home side regained their composure and with sub Ceri James playing a controlling roll, the home side played outthe latter stages and a minute before the end Leon Newell drew another good save from Hughes in the visitors’ goal.
This was a good win against a team who have always troubled the best with their determined, vigorous play. But apart from one spell Port kept their composure and stuck their own game plan.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Neil Thomas, Dan Pyrs, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Danny Bell (Phil Williams 85), Carl Owen (Ceri James 71), Leon Newell, Eilir Edwards (Paul Lewis 90). Yellow: Danny Bell 59’, Ceri James 82.
PENRHYN-COCH: Llew Hughes, Eilian Evans (Dylan James 75), Liam James, Aneurin Thomas, Jon Folingo (Owain James 75), Dan James, Emlyn Lewis, Mark Edmundson, Jonathan Evans, Mark Gornall, Josh Hartrick. Unused subs: Stefano Antonazzi, Gari Lewis, Leigh Jenkins. Yellow: Jon Folingo 32, Aneurin Thomas 43, Mark Gornall 51, Dan James 89.
Referee: Gareth Wyn Jones (Bontnewydd) Attendance: 148
Huws Gray Alliance -Wednesday, 18 September Match Sponsors: Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway CPD Porthmadog ... 2 Caernarfon Town ... 5 Leon Newell 45 Jordan Barrow 7,27 Carl Owen 55 Darren Thomas 40,65,82.Caernarfon with simple, direct but impressive football stretched their unbeaten start to 7 games, and their winning streak to six straight victories. The visitors got off to a flying start and were three up by the 40th minute. Port then did well to pull the score back to 3-2 with a goal either side of the interval. But former Port forward Darren Thomas added two more second half goals to complete his hat-trick and ensure that the home revival was stopped in its tracks.
Port had the first effort on goal when Eilir Edwards was brought down on the edge of box and Carl Owen curled his free kick narrowly wide. The visitors responded with an opportunist Powell-Thomas flick over Gareth Barker which drifted wide. But Caernarfon took only 7 minutes to get in front when Jordan Barrow nipped in following a partial clearance to head over the keeper from six yards. Following his goal Barrow found himself heavily involved in the action firing a shot from 25 yards which went narrowly over the bar and then found Powell-Thomas with a long angled pass but the winger fired wide. Barrow then went on to double Caernarfon’s lead on 27 minutes when he volleyed back a defensive header with ferocious power from 25 yards. Port found it difficult to mount any serious attacks at this stage apart from a shot from Eilir Edwards fired straight at keeper Paul Pritchard. But with No 9 Cai Jones linking play up well Caernarfon continued to pressure the Port defence and it was difficult to keep Jordan Barrow out of the action. From his free kick Darren Thomas broke into the box but after being initially held out he wriggled his way through and scored from close range. Port despite the reverse raised their game and Rob Evans with a cracking angled shot was narrowly wide of Paul Pritchard’s near post. Then on the stroke of half-time Leon Newell pulled one back for Port as the visitors’ defence hesitated when a ball was played in from the left and Newell scored from 10 yards. 1-3 at the interval.
Immediately after the restart Caernarfon netted but the goal was disallowed for a foul on the keeper. Ten minutes into the half Port reduced the deficit further when Carl Owen at the near post met Dan Bell’s well struck corner and his glancing header found the back of the net. 2-3 and home supporters began to hope for more. But strong in midfield and at the heart of their defence Caernarfon were able to snuff out promising Port moves set up by Dan Bell and Rob Evans and visitors keeper Paul Pritchard remained largely untroubled. As Port pushed forward in search of an equaliser Ywain Gwynedd and Darren Thomas had the pace to exploit the open spaces behind the defence. A superb angled pass from Cai Jones after 65 minutes put Darren Thomas in on goal on the left of the box and the tricky forward scored with a low shot just inside the far post. Ywain Gwynedd then went on a run of 30 yards but as he broke into the home box Gareth Barker went down at his feet to prevent a certain goal. But a few minutes later the keeper was caught when Darren Thomas nipped in to take the ball off his feet and help himself to his hat trick goal.
Not a happy night for Port and their supporters, for clearly they were given a lesson in simple, basic, direct football strong at the back, cutting out mistakes and freeing their runners to attack at pace.
PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Ben Vangucci, Gruff Williams, Ceri James (Ryan Connolly 72), Dan Pyrs, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Danny Bell, Carl Owen, Leon Newell (Craig Papirnyk 86), Eilir Edwards. Subs unused: Phil Williams, Gareth Parry, Jamie Hulse (gk). Yellow: Ceri James 72.
CAERNARFON: Paul Pritchard, Steve Kehoe, Moses Barnett, Clive Williams, Grahame Austin, Kevin Roberts, Jordan Barrow, Ywain Gwwynedd, Cai Jones (James Bell 86), Darren Thomas, Luke Powell Thomas (Lee Craven 46). Unused subs: Geraint Mitchell, Chris Williams, Aled Hughes.
Referee: J B Roberts Attendance: 379.